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Online trolling may be sadistic

 
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Up&Out39 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 3:02am
(CNN) - If you've ever complained that the trolls junking up online comment sections are a bunch of sadistic psychopaths, you might be onto something.



An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and "Machiavellianis m": a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others.

"It was sadism, however, that had the most robust associations with trolling of any of the personality measures," says an article by psychologists from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and University of British Columbia. "In fact, the associations between sadism and ... scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists."

Sadism is a tendency to take pleasure in other people's pain or discomfort.

The article was published last week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

As defined in the article, online trolling is "the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose."

So, as opposed to cyberbullying, saying nasty things during an argument over politics or even making hateful comments that reflect the commenter's true feelings, trolls are offensive for the sheer enjoyment of it. Or, in Internet parlance, "for the lulz."

"Trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet, exploiting 'hot-button issues' to make users appear overly emotional or foolish in some manner," the article reads. "If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished, 'Do not feed the trolls!'."

Survey respondents were asked about their Internet behavior, including how much time they spend online and whether they comment in places like YouTube or on news websites. They also were given tests that measured responses against psychology's ominously named "Dark Tetrad": narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadistic personality.

Commenters who said they enjoy trolling other users more than other options (which included debating topics and making new friends) consistently scored higher on the "tetrad" and displayed a tendency to enjoy trolling because it is pleasurable, the authors wrote.


The questions asked to determine sadistic tendencies included ''I enjoy physically hurting people," "I enjoy making jokes at the expense of others" and "I enjoy playing the villain in games and torturing other characters."

To be clear, the article is not based on a random sampling of respondents.

For their final study, researchers gave their questionnaire to 188 Canadian psychology students who got extra course credit for completing the surveys and 609 United States residents who use a website that lets people fill out surveys for a small amount of money. Those respondents were paid 50 cents for filling out the questionnaire.

But it speaks to a growing concern about behavior that has existed, certainly, since the dawn of the Internet and in other forms for much, much longer.

Sites like YouTube and the Huffington Post have banned anonymous comments, requiring users to create an account that identifies them by name, while others have taken different tacks to try to moderate comment sections.

"These findings provide a preliminary glimpse into the mechanism by which sadism fosters trolling behavior," the article says. "Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun ... and the Internet is their playground."

I'm side eyeing some of y'all now Stern Smile
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BBpants View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote BBpants Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 3:26am
It's not hard to troll and get people in their feelings. You just need the right topic with the right people
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 4:14am
Tommy Sotomayor and SrgWiliePete
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote QueenBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 4:27am
Lol@being paid 50 cents to do survey.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 6:35am
 
I deflect this nonsense, it's just some butthurt folks who can't handle the pain and emotional trauma.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 7:00am
Sotomayor is the devil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 7:23am

sotomayor is the truth though.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote hauteshellbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 10:47am
Originally posted by iliveforbhm iliveforbhm wrote:

sotomayor is the truth though.

 
Sleepy we don't like your trolling here, come back as a woman and we might entertain you
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 10:49am
Originally posted by afrokock afrokock wrote:

Sotomayor is the devil
And his low social & cultural IQ followers.Dead

Edited by carolina cutie - Feb 13 2014 at 10:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 13 2014 at 11:55am
Originally posted by hauteshellbi hauteshellbi wrote:

Originally posted by iliveforbhm iliveforbhm wrote:

sotomayor is the truth though.

 
Sleepy we don't like your trolling here, come back as a woman and we might entertain you
 
 
Yes, you do boo Embarrassed
 
Lol, but for real I don't like Sotomayor. He is a piece of crap.
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